We’ve come a long way

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Tyler started walking around 10 months old. Scratch that. Tyler started running around 10 months old. He never really walked. He would lean forward and run for as long and as fast as he could before he would stumble over his own feet and fall. Get back up, and do it all over again. Eventually he learned balance and learned to WALK rather than just run everywhere.

He was quick too. Much quicker than is stroll along big brother Justin. Justin doesn’t rush to do anything (except whatever he’s being “made to do”, so he can get back to playing outside). Justin strolls along, taking in the view and although he’ll jump up and down with excitement, he prefers a slower pace.

The first time I took them for a walk… I opened the door, got Tyler down the steps and then Justin. By the time I got Justin down the steps, Tyler was half way down our, pretty lengthy driveway! I had to run ahead, grab him, then go back for Justin. Justin just stood there like “What’s going on? Are you coming back? Should I follow you?” lol They are so completely different from each other.

So from the VERY beginning, Tyler was a bolter.
Combine that with his complete lack of understanding of danger, it made for a few close calls. He would run, as fast as he could, down our driveway… there were more times than I care to admit that I could see or hear a car coming. I ran as fast and as hard as I could to get to him in time… but I had that pit in my stomach that one day I wouldn’t make it in time.

It’s not like I didn’t hold his hands… or try to hold onto him. But when we take 2-3 walks a day (not much to do out in the middle of nowhere), there were times he’d pull his hand away from me and BOOK IT. Then having Justin, I couldn’t just leave him… I had to make sure he was safe and not going to fall and get hurt the second I chased off after Tyler.

When we were at the store, I’d think we were getting better and not put him in the cart… and halfway from the parking lot to the store he’d be fine… then that split second, tear his hand out of mine and take off towards traffic. I’ve more than once kicked off sandals to run after him, because I ran faster without them. I stopped wearing sandals when I left the house with him.

Eventually we got him a backpack/leash/harness… I still held his hand… but it was more of a back up. In case he slipped from my grip.
I also aquired cat like reflexes… lol The second I felt him pull away from me I squeezed his hand and picked him up.
Thankfully all those walks really paid off.
Eventually he learned to stick close by. Or if I did allow him to run a bit ahead of us, he learned if I yelled CAR, STOP or COME HERE to either move off the side of the road, stop or he’d come running back to me when he’d get too far ahead.

Even now I can see him running full speed ahead towards a mud puddle and can yell STOP, and he’ll stop dead in his tracks. Because that instinct kicks in from doing it over and over and over and over again. I notice it works more outside than when we’re inside. I think because he doesn’t get away with not listening to me AT ALL outside. lol Inside Mommy get’s lazy sometimes and doesn’t follow through because my sanity is more important that him eating oreos before dinner. 😉 😛

But when I’m not around to advise him what to do, and steer him away from danger… he’d still bolt.

A year and a half ago I found out he opened a window at my brother-in-law’s house and took off. I found him five minutes later down the road wandering around people’s yards. It made me sick to my stomach imagining what could have happened to him if I hadn’t noticed he was quiet… or hadn’t found the window open and took off after him… or went down the wrong street and didn’t find him as quickly as I did.

Well today I was in the kitchen, and their Dad left the garage door open, and the door that leads to the garage open. Apparently Tyler snuck out when no one was looking. But instead of taking off down the street, he knew he had to stay around the house/yard area. I noticed the door and went out to get him. I know it couldn’t have been more than a minute or two… and I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t noticed longer than that. I don’t know if he would have taken off down the street or if he would have came and got me to “ask” to go for a walk. Thankfully we haven’t had to find out. But today… he didn’t. Today, all that practice of staying close to the house when Mommy isn’t around or staying close to Mom… or if we want to go somewhere, Mom has to be right there… has paid off. Because today, Tyler didn’t bolt.

#Progress
#NeverStopTrying
#NeverGiveUp

I’ve never met my support group.

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If you ever met me you wouldn’t think that I wouldn’t have a problem making friends. I’m bubbly and seemingly outgoing. I’m the goofy and animated friend who always tries to make people laugh.

But when you become a special needs Parent, your choices in friends drastically diminish. It’s not that there aren’t amazing people out there… and it’s not like the friends you had aren’t still there. But after a while, you get tired of explaining the same thing over and over. Or answering the same questions… Or answering those “well have you tried…?” Or “why don’t you just…?”

I know MOST of them mean well… It’s not like they’re bad people, but it can be exhausting. Especially when my life is exhausting enough on it’s own, the last thing I want are my friendships to be also.

I don’t even do it on purpose… But I’ll realize I’ll respond less frequently or I’ll respond later and later to posts. Not because I don’t want to, but because just thinking about everything I’ll need to say, explain or give an excuse to is overwhelming.

I can’t “just find a sitter” so I go out less and less. We can’t come visit you because your house isn’t nearly child-proofed as ours. You could come over here, but a kid is bound to show up naked and really… When do i have time to clean? So I don’t invite you over anyway. It’s not that I don’t miss you. Or want to see you. But things change.

Every once and a while you find that amazing friend who “gets it” and doesn’t live too far. Either because they have kids on the spectrum or are your kids teachers/therapists. And when you find one, you about leap out of your skin because you don’t have to apologize for your house or naked kid, or explain what your kid is chewing on or what they’re scripting…. Because they get it.

But often, those amazing people who get it… We will never meet in person, because they’re all over the world.
Sitting in a house, nodding along to your child’s most recent milestone, celebrating with you because they understand just how truly amazing every new skill is.
No matter how small it seems to the outside world.
They might not have to go through or have gone through the exact same thing, but they get it.

Or they’re the people who don’t have kids or aren’t personally on the spectrum, but love your family and want to learn more about them.
They’re pretty freaking awesome too.

I have an amazing support group.
They laugh, cry and mourn with me.
They’re nodding along and raising their fists in excitement because they GET IT!
They share stories.
They give and ask for advice.
They’re amazing.

And I will probably never have the honor to meet them in this lifetime.

But I love them and I’m thankful for all of them.

They’re my support group, and I am theirs.